ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier, right, scores on a Joe Mauer, left, single off Detroit Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in Minneapolis. Catching is Tigers' Alex Avila

Jim Mone, Associated Press - Ap

Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe smacked a double against Tigers starter Justin Verlander to score two runs in Game 2.

Photos by CRAIG LASSIG • Associated Press,

Tigers starter Justin Verlander tossed 5⅔ innings of four-run ball while striking out six.

Feed Loader,

Kennys Vargas followed through with a three-run double off Detroit pitcher Kyle Lobstein in the seventh inning Saturday.

Feed Loader,

Twins pitcher Yohan Pino tossed five innings of one-run ball in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Feed Loader,

Joe Mauer hit a two-run double off Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer in the second inning.

Feed Loader,

TWINS 12, DETROIT 4 (first game)

Up next: 1:10 p.m. today vs. Detroit • TV: FSN

Twins bats stay hot in doubleheader split with Tigers

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • August 24, 2014 - 12:13 AM

No batting practice was scheduled on Saturday as the Twins faced a doubleheader with the Tigers a day after playing nearly four hours.

“We really didn’t do much this morning,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Just got loose in the [batting] cages. It was more ‘strap it on and go’ type thing.”

The Twins lounged around their clubhouse, then took the field for Game 1 against Detroit and continued their bludgeoning of the Tigers pitching staff as they pulled away to a 12-4 win in the midday affair, but Justin Verlander put a stop to the run, somewhat, in the evening game as Detroit rallied for an 8-6 win over Twins righthander Trevor May.

Doing so kept the Tigers, whose playoff hopes suddenly look shaky, from being beaten by two Twins rookie righthanders Saturday. Yohan Pino was the benefactor of hot hitting in Game 1, going five innings to improve to 2-5 on the season. May, in his third major league start, pitched into the sixth inning for the first time before faltering in Game 2.

The Twins still have a chance to win three of the four games in this series, damaging a Tigers team that began Saturday three games out of first in the AL Central.

That gap looked like it was going to widen after Game 1 on Saturday.

After scoring 20 runs on 20 hits on Friday, the Twins scored 12 runs on 14 hits in Game 1 on Saturday. The 32 runs in back-to-back games is the most since they scored 32 runs in a doubleheader in 2007.

“Baseball goes like that sometimes,” Gardenhire said. “You take swings and balls start falling you reach out and tap them and balls are falling in. We put a lot of good swings out there.”

The Twins hit pitches out of the strike zone. They pulled pitches thrown on the outside corner. They made contact, filled the bases and piled on.

The Twins scored six runs in the second to take a 6-1 lead, then pushed it to 9-1 in the third. Vargas hit his big double in the seventh, giving him 22 RBI in his first 21 major league games, the first player to do that since Albert Pujols in 2001.

“I tried to tell everyone to keep that foot on the gas pedal, that we’ve got to keep going out there and having good at-bats,” said Mauer, who drove in four runs in the two games. “A team like that can put up runs in a hurry, too. So you play the game, you respect the game and you keep playing.”

The Twins trailed 2-1 in the third inning of the night game when they scored three off Verlander, 11-11, who missed his last start because of a sore shoulder. Mauer hit an RBI double then Trevor Plouffe lined a two-run double into the left field corner, giving the Twins a 4-2 lead.

Detroit scored once in the fifth to make it 4-3. May (0-3) got one out in the sixth, but Eugenio Suarez hit a soft liner to center for a two-run single. Gardenhire could take heat for leaving May in too long, but the manager is sensing that his bullpen is wearing down and tried to squeeze more out of May.

It showed, as righthander Jared Burton gave up a two-run single to Nick Castellanos in the seventh that ended up being the game-winning hit.

“Everyone starts getting a little worn down,” Gardenhire said. “We got a couple pitches up. Burton normally puts a hitter away. That was a big one.”

Brian Dozier hit an RBI double off closer Joe Nathan in the ninth, but the Twins’ all-time leading closer was able to secure his 27th save.

© 2014 Star Tribune